Thursday, May 12, 2016
Does Obama Favor the Iran/Russia "Axis of Evil"?
There is new anger about the Obama Iran nuclear deal after a New York Times Magazine feature on "Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications" Ben Rhodes, a fiction writer before he got that title from Obama -- fiction was the right training for anyone trying to communicate Obama's fictional 'strategy' about anything. The NYT article shows how the White House spun journalists and experts into supporting the Iran deal. Rhodes told the NYT the average White House reporter is “27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. They literally know nothing." The NYT article depicts Rhodes as creating a false narrative that the nuclear deal would empower Iran’s moderates, at the expense of hardliners under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In fact, the article asserts, the deal was really part of a grander plan to reshape the US role in the Middle East. On Sunday, Rhodes was forced to defend the sales pitch on the Iran deal and deny that it had misled journalists and think tank experts. Rhodes wrote in a blog post on Medium : “It wasn’t ‘spin,’ it’s what we believed and continue to believe." ~~~~~ The Obama nuclear deal with Iran is "starting to unravel," House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday. In an op-ed for the Independent Journal Review written before the NYT Rhodes article was published, Ryan promised a House Republican “overarching vision for our national security” that includes targeting Iran. Ryan wrote : “Our goal is to restore a more confident America that keeps its word and upholds its commitments. This is what we need to keep the peace, protect our homeland, and make the world a safer place for this generation and the next." ~~~~~ The Iran deal, which purports to limit Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon in exchange for sanctions relief, is the sole item in Obama's foreign policy legacy. But, months after sanctions were lifted, Iran has not shown any move by 'moderates' to join the international community -- Iran has conducted several ballistic missile tests, briefly held captive US Navy sailors, heightened its tough rhetoric against Saudi Arabia and Israel, and continued supporting Hezbollah, Hamas and Heuthi rebels in Yemen. But, Obama is ignoring Iran’s behavior, and actually enabling it, by spending $8.6 million to buy Iranian heavy water -- which is used in nuclear reactors -- arguing that if the US doesn't buy it, Iran might sell it to North Korea. That would violate UN sanctions, but the White House doesn't mention that. Secretary Kerry is also saying Iran can even have indirect access to the US financial system and US Dollars through foreign banks. Ryan's reaction : "The administration can spin it anyway it likes, but this was a bad deal." Congress must renew the Iranian sanctions legislation and block efforts to allow Iranian officials to trade in US Dollars, Ryan said. ~~~~~ House Republicans have asked Rhodes to testify, after his controversial comments about the White House marketing of the Iran nuclear deal. Republican leaders of the House Oversight Committee want Rhodes to appear next Tuesday morning during a hearing titled “White House narratives on the Iran nuclear deal,” committee spokeswoman M.J. Henshaw told The Hill. Rhodes has not yet responded to the request, and no one else has so far been asked to appear, according to Henshaw. Chairman Jason Chaffetz has threatened to subpoenae Rhodes to appear, an aide said. ~~~~~ Dear readers, the Iran deal is bad policy on its own. It has done nothing to change Iran's behavior while providing billions of dollars to advance its support for terrorism. But, if Rhodes was stating Obama policy when he said the Iran deal was part of a "grander plan to reshape the US role in the Middle East," then Obama is trying to put America on the path to partnering Iran and terrorism -- abandoning Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Gulf states, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and putting Israel in vastly greater danger. Obama has, without telling Congress or the American people, joined the Iran-Russia "axis of evil."